Learning the alphabet is one of the hallmarks of childhood. From learning to sing the ABCs to beginning to write the letters in their name, alphabet knowledge becomes increasingly important. When teaching the alphabet, there are a few things we want to consider such as letter-sound association, upper and lower case letters, and use of a keyword to associate the letter and sound. Teaching letter sound association, utilizing both upper and lowercase letters, and integrating keyword association is a crucial component in this journey toward early literacy. Let's explore why these skills are so vital and how parents can facilitate their children's learning in a fun and engaging way.
Building Strong Foundations: Learning to associate the sounds of letters with their corresponding shapes is like laying a sturdy foundation for a house. Just as a solid foundation supports the entire structure, letter sound association forms the basis for reading and writing. We want to model the speech sounds correctly so as to not cause any confusion (Hint hint: Do not add “uh” at the end when making the speech sounds). Additionally, incorporating both upper and lowercase letters ensures a comprehensive understanding of the alphabet, allowing children to recognize and use letters in various contexts.
Keyword Association: Integrating keywords into letter sound association makes the learning process even more effective. Keywords are words that start with or contain the sound of the letter being taught. For example, when teaching the letter "B," incorporating words like "bat,"or "bubble," helps children grasp the concept more easily. This not only reinforces the letter's sound but also expands their vocabulary.
For letters that represent multiple sounds based on the position in a word, you want to incorporate the additional ways that the letter sounds.
Engagement: The key to teaching letter sound association and keyword integration effectively is to make it engaging for children. Use colorful and interactive materials, play word games, and read aloud together. The more enjoyable and interactive the learning process, the more likely your child is to retain the information.
Stay tuned! Bjorem Speech Publications has Bjorem Better Letters: Interactive Puzzle for Teaching Sounds and Letters to Kids coming out soon! With highly engaging pictures, fun and appropriate keywords, and MUSIC from Laurie Berkner Band!